RE: Perceptually true, Technically wrong

Subject: RE: Perceptually true, Technically wrong
From: "Samuel Choy" <schoy -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 15:56:08 -0600

Watson Laughton said:

>>A fan is a specific design...blades around an axle spun by a motor.
>>An Air Moving Device can be different designs...a bellows, a wheel, a
>>number of different designs.
>Yes, I know that, but I've never seen a bellows inside a computer. Unless
>the engineer was a blacksmith and was describing how to get the coals red
>hot, it seems likely that what they were discussing was in fact (what I,
>least) would call a "fan".

John Posada replied:

There was nothing in the initial instruction that said it was in a

To which I reply:

I'll add some clarification. The AMD/fan is installed in an IBM iSeries
computer. I don't know if that's relevant to the point or not. But I want
to throw this out, and perhaps play Devil's (engineer's?) advocate I just
looked at the instructions that I was referring to originally. The device
in question is an entire assemblage. It looks like it has its own case and
motor and internal circuitry.

It could be that the engineer is arguing that the "fan" is just a part in
the assemblage. What if there were something specific to the assemblage
that allowed it to get a patent? "Fan," therefore would not be technically

Another Devil's (engineer's) advocate type question. What if most of the
customers know the part by Air Moving Device? I doubt that was the case,
but the possibility exists. This brings us back to my original question.
Should it be called an AMD (technically correct) and risk ostracizing new
customers. Or should we call it a fan (perceptually correct) but risk
ostracizing long-term customers?

I don't think the question is always that easy to answer. You have to know
your audience, know your technology, and make a judgement call. And
sometimes you don't have a choice.

Samuel Choy
IBM Rochester

My opinions are mine and not IBMs.


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